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Ensuring Viability of Organic Cultivation: Innovative Bio-products

Organic Farming: The New age Agriculture

There is a rising demand for agricultural products produced through organic cultivation. Organic cultivation is meant to uphold the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic cultivation is amalgamation of traditional, innovative and scientific farming. It promotes environmental safety and better quality of life of all stakeholders.

Organic relates to farming that is free from pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth-promoting chemicals (growth-hormones), antibiotics or genetically modified organisms. In addition, it is mandatory to follow or set-up cultivation standards, which will have no negative impact on soil, water and air.

Organic farming is not new to India. In fact, India holds the highest number of organic producers with 835,000 organic farmers. Organic farming area is significantly large in India and is the ninth in terms of organic farming belt (1.49 million ha). Historical India was largest exporter of cotton and currently it is the largest exporter of organic cotton in the world.

The Indian organic market is expected to touch INR 100,000–120,000 million by 2020. Keeping in view the global market for organic products, the Ministry of Agriculture has introduced several schemes and projects such as National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) scheme and National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).


Drawbacks of conventional farming

Green revolution has led to increased production and utilization of fertilizers. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers has destroyed the viability of soil, and affected the climate. In addition, there is also a decline in the nutritive value of food owing to incessant use of pesticides. In addition, the green revolution dispirited farmers from cultivating traditional food crops such as ragi, foxtail millet and banyard millet.


Organic Farming: Home-coming to India

By and large, the organic farming principles resembles in the traditional agriculture of India. Compared to the current conventional farming, organic farming is based on natural plant nutrients or bio-products derived from green manures, farmyard manures, composts and plant residues. These organic nutrients help in containing the organic content in the soil. Organic farming soil has lower bulk density, higher water holding capacity, higher microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen and higher soil respiration activities.


Bio-products

Bio-products have the potential to change the farming culture. Bio-products are completely biodegradable and are neither toxic to the plants nor their consumers. As the name suggests, it is totally natural in origin. Bio-products do not pose any toxicity or ecotoxicity issues. They do not produce harmful residues. Bio-products are derived from microorganisms or macroorganisms. Bio-products could be classified as biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers. Biofungicides, bioherbicides and bioinsecticides are the biopesticides, which can be effective in small doses, and act very precisely, but very narrowly. Biopesticides protect the crops from biotic stress such as attacks from pests.On the contrary to biopesticides, biostimulants protect the crops from abiotic stress such as frost, drought, and salinity.Biofertilizers are referred to as living fertilizers, which help the crops is obtaining nutrients. Examples of biofertilizers are phosforus biofertilizer and Mycorrhiza preparations.


Summary

● There is a rising demand for agricultural products produced through organic cultivation.

● India is catching the world market in organic farming.

● The organic farming principles resembles in the traditional agriculture of India.

● Organic farming is based on natural plant nutrients or bio-products derived from green manures, farmyard manures, composts and plant residues.

● Bio-products have the potential to change the farming culture.